Activities for Kids with Cerebral Palsy

Going outside offers a refreshing change of scenery.
Going outside offers a refreshing change of scenery.

Not everyone with cerebral palsy has the same symptoms. Some kids have stiff muscles, some have muscles that move oddly and some have trouble staying balanced. CP affects about 800,000 people in the United States, according to the United Cerebral Palsy Foundation. So what can you do to have fun with your kid and help navigate physical limitations at the same time?

  • Play rough: Don't play too rough, but normal roughhousing is good for any kid. You don't have to be afraid of hurting him or her -- just pay attention to what movements he or she likes. If swinging your daughter around fast seems to bother her, for example, try doing it slowly. It's good to get that kind of physical stimulation and touch into a child's routine.
  • Take it outside: For young kids who have a hard time getting motivated to move, sometimes just going outside can help. Crawling is more fun when there's new stuff to look at, and so is getting a ride in a wagon or even strolling leisurely with the help of a walker.
  • Play in the water:Swimming is a great activity for a kid with CP and it can help build stronger bones and stretch out muscles. Aids like arm floaties, flippers and ankle weights that will make your child feel safe while they exercise. Even bathtub playtime with warm water can help -- anything that gets your little one kicking and moving around, even if it results in a bathroom covered in bubbles, is probably a good idea.

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